Contract Status: UFA; 2007-08 salary of $475,000
Age (as of October 1, 2008): 29
NHL Seasons (including 2007-08): 1+
2007-08 Regular Season Stats: 39 games played, 1 goals, 5 assists, +4, 10 PIMs
Key Stat: Laing was 23rd among NHL forwards in blocked shots, despite playing 26 fewer games than any of the players in the top 22 and half as many (or fewer) as 20 of the 22.
Mildly Interesting Fact: On November 30, Laing became the first player in Caps history to wear the number 53.
The Good: The Caps' Masterson Trophy nominee, Laing scored his first NHL goal (a game-winner) and increased his career games played at the sport's highest level by 1300% in 2007-08, but his real value is as a penalty killer, specifically as a shot blocker extraordinaire (see above, and check out OFB's interview with Laing from a couple of days after his - pardon the pun - quintessential shot blocking performance January 21 in Pittsburgh). Opponents scored fewer goals and took fewer shots per sixty minutes of ice time when Laing was on the ice than when any other Cap was, and no Cap forward was on the ice for more blocked shots per sixty than Q. In 24 games in December and January, Laing had a goal, four assists and a plus-five rating.
The Bad: Laing had the worst shooting percentage of any Cap forward and is currently on a 34-game goal-less streak. He created fewer goals per game than any forward on the team other than Donald Brashear that ended the season with the team and even with his penalty killing skills was only third among Caps forwards in shorthanded time on ice per game.
The Vote: Rate Laing on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the best) based on his performance relative to his potential for the season - if he had the best year you could have imagined him having, give him a 10; if he more or less played as you expected he would, give him a 5 or a 6; if he had the worst year you could have imagined him having, give him a 1.
The Questions: Does Laing have a role on the 2008-09 Caps? What will it take for him to earn a 10 rating next year?
If you've missed any of the previous 2007-08 Rink Wraps, click here, get caught up, and vote - polls will stay open for a while.
* And by "every," we mean every one who played more than just a handful of games.